The NFL draft is now just 10 days away. By this time in 10 days the Raiders #3 pick will have come and gone. Will the Raiders have chosen a young player they will hang their hopes on to revitalize the franchise?
Or, instead, will the team have, as many have reported is their preference, traded down in the first round.
If the Raiders trade down there seem to be really only 4 teams that would be interested in moving up to the #3 overall spot at this point: #5 Detroit Lions, #7 Arizona Cardinals, #8 Buffalo Bills or #12 Miami Dolphins.
Of these, the Lions and Cardinals make the most sense right now. I’ll start with the scenario I find most often from the media these days: the Kansas Chiefs take Luke Joeckel #1 overall and the Jaguars take their franchise QB in Geno Smith #2.
If this occurs there are a couple of players remaining that most think are elite but only one, LT Eric Fisher, is at a really premium position.
This is important because a couple of the teams, Arizona and Detroit, are really built to win now. Miami would also love a franchise LT to pair with last year’s first round pick, Ryan Tannehill.
The most likely of these is Arizona. They wouldn’t have to move up far – only 4 spots from #7 to #3. They are also looking to win now because they have a stifling defense and one of the best WRs in the league in Larry Fitzgerald.
Arizona already traded with the Raiders once, for QB Carson Palmer, but his vertical arm won’t do them any good if they can’t keep him upright.
The Cardinals are in need of a franchise LT and they probably can’t afford to wait until pick 7 and hope that Eric Fisher falls to him. If they like him they will likely need to move up to get him.
Jimmy Johnson’s old draft trade value chart had been falling a bit by the wayside prior to the new CBA because the amounts of dollars it took to sign players in the top 10 was making a bit prohibitive to consider trading for them.
The new CBA has rejuvenated the list, however. With the rookie contracts under control, teams are willing to be more aggressive by trading up for a guy they think they must have.
Under Johnson’s trade value chart the #3 overall pick is worth 2,200 points. The #7 pick, where the Cardinals are currently slated to pick, is worth only 1,500. That pick must be part of the deal, of course.
So must the Card’s 2nd round pick, 38th overall, which is worth 520 points on the chart. So the Cards are up to 2,020 points with their first and second round picks.
The Raiders might find that compensation close enough to warrant the trade as they would love to pick up a 2nd round pick but if they do have someone they love at #3, they could always push for more from AZ – for example AZ’s 5th round pick which would allow them to recover a pick in that round as well.
Of course, AZ isn’t the only team with incentive to win right away. In Detroit, Jim Schwartz is on the hot seat and their starting LT, Jeff Backus, retired unexpectedly recently. They also would be a good option to trade up if they wanted to secure a franchise LT.
Here is a look at what each team would have to likely trade:
Get: Oakland’s #3 overall pick, worth 2,200 points
Detroit: #5 (1700) + #36 (540) = 2,240
AZ: #7 (1500 points) + #38 (520) + #103 (88) and #140 (36) = 2,144
Buffalo, who would likely only trade up if Geno Smith were still available
Buffalo: #8 (1400) +#41 (490) + #71 (235) = 2,125
Miami: #12 (1200) + #42 (480) + #54 (360) + #82(180) = 2,220
Time will tell if there is any interest in moving up into the Raiders spot. The Raiders would likely love to trade down and be able to pick up additional picks later in the draft. By this time 10 days from now, we'll know if that occured or not.
Of those choices Arizona seems obviously the best. But I think you're underestimating Miami's position - they believe they are in a win now situation (playoffs - not the SB). They've made a lot of FA pickups which usually means problems, but the character quality seems rather high with most of their new guys and they grabbed some young and up and comers like Wheeler who should play at a high level because they're still hungry. They have the picks, the FAs and the base players to do some damage this season and I believe they could be serious contenders in 2014 if they stay on this track. Especially if the league decides to finally crack down on New England's incessant cheating.
I think 49ers will be our best friend in the draft and our major trade partner. They have 14 picks and you know they aren't signing 14 rookies. I can see Raiders swapping the #3 pick for 9ers #31 + a rd. 2, rd. 4 and a rd. 5.
I think 49ers would be a good trade partner too, but I could see us first trading down with the Dolphins first. Dolphins can then take Joeckel or Fisher (I can't see both being gone in the first two picks) who it looks like they may be after. We could then pick up an second from the Dolphins and another extra mid-late round pick.
Then at #12 I think we could work out a deal again with the 49ers to trade down and pick up another second round pick plus another mid-late round pick. Pick #12 could be a great place for the 49ers to target Tavon Austin who I think they have big interest in.
I like the Arizona trade the best. Star Lotulelei is likely still on the board at 7 and we could fill another important hole in the 2nd round at #38 with a FS or DE. After that, Miami's two 2nd round picks look attractive. Not too keen on the Buffalo scenario, doubt that Geno will be in play anyway at #3. What about Tampa? What if they just get tired of waiting for the Jets to deal Revis and decide instead to trade for Dee Milliner? What would be the likely set of picks in that package? #13 and #43 and something else?